Monday, December 3, 2007

Editor's Notebook - Dec 2007

THE FINAL EVENT ON THE CTCC CALENDAR FOR 2007 is the Annual Holiday Party at Chandler's Restaurant on December 8th. We then welcome in Winter and the New Year (OK, at least the latter) with the first CTCC event set for January 27th at the Willowbrook Ballroom. Check for the particulars that appear on page 10. Pete and Marylu Kramer have planned this unique outing. The ever-popular FREE Pizza Party is scheduled for February 14th.

The approach of the New Year brings with it your DUES RENEWAL. Madeline Zambon, our Membership Chair, would like to receive your payment prior to Jan. 1, 2008.

Thanks to Joel Greenberg for submitting the Eastwood catalog which featured a '56 T-Bird on the cover. The 'Bird photo is reproduced on the rear-cover of this issue.

Also, our thanks to Annie Luginbill for providing still another edition of "License Plates With A Message" - see the listing that appears on page 7.

While there are many write-ups on the topic of Winter Storage for collector cars, we draw on an excellent article that appeared in the THUNDERBIRD Scoop in the Oct./Nov. 1990 issue - page 8.

Having previously mentioned the "48 in 08" event scheduled for 2008, we herein present a section of the route which precedes and follows the group's visit to Springfield, Illinois on August 21st. See page 6 for the schedule and map information. Perhaps CTCC can participate in a portion of the trip, which is designed to visit 48 State Capitols in 59 days - and travel a total of 13,065 miles!!! Visit the website for info and detailed routing.

Check out your (neighbor's?) garage: A 1953 Corvette sold for $440,000 at the Hilton Head Sports & Classic Car Auction on November 3rd! ('53 Vette production was a mere: 315 units.)

Happy Holidays from the Officers, Directors, and Membership of C.T.C.C.

-- Ed., Bird-News

Put On Your Dancing Shoes

A January event for the Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland and Classic T-Bird Owners Cub of the Chicago South Suburbs

Put On Your Dancing Shoes!!!

Sunday, January 27th 2008 (no football games are scheduled)
1:00pm to 4:30pm

Willowbrook Ballroom
8900 Archer Avenue
Willow Springs, Illinois

$25.00 per person includes
"CBS" Family Style Meal
(chicken, beef, sausage, sides, mash potatoes, dessert)

Cash Bar

And dancing to the Teddy Lee Big Band!

For details: Pete or Marylu Kramer (630) 986-1277
Send checks made out to Pete Kramer:
560 W. 58th Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521

Must have final count by January 7th, 2008.

Snow Bird

INSPIRED BY THE COVER PHOTO ON THE NOV./DEC. ISSUE OF EARLY BIRD, I offer the above view of my original '57 as a reminder of things to come. True, we no longer drive our classic T-Birds during the winter when roads in the Midwest are salt-laden. It was a different story when this photo snowscape was set-up for the camera lens in 1958.

The snow-scene did provide a moment of panic standing on the icy Fox River. As I framed the 'Bird in the snow setting, my right-leg broke through the ice! Since I was positioned in deep snow, my escape was no easy task. Due to the relatively remote location that I had chosen, there was no one to help me out of my predicament! Fortunately, I was finally able to extricate myself from the icy grasp of the river.

The photo reveals what might appear to be "weak" rear-springs, however, winter driving (without winter tires) was aided via a 100lbs. steel weight placed in the trunk!

-- Ed., Bird-News

Very Special People

I wanted to thank all of you, not just for what you did, which was wonderful, but for the warmth and caring you put into it.

You're all very special people.

Thank you!
Bob Sroka

Plates With A Message

Once again we enjoy the clever license plates, as collected by our mobile reporter and tag spotter Annie Luginbill.

GRAM OF 4 -- Toyota
HEMI RT 1 -- Dodge Magnum
WIN WIN 2 -- Range Rover
IT COST -- Cadillac
COURTYD -- Lexus
HYDRGEN -- Volvo
AIM ME -- Mercedes
MOOZIK -- Acura
TWO B ME 2 -- Hyundai
O SUZIE Q -- Explorer
Z CADLAC -- Cadillac
AIR OIL -- Grand Marquis
WANDAZZ -- Mazda
TEMTED 1 -- Mazda
CHKAGO 1 -- Lincoln
DANCER -- Oldsmobile
ON DA GO -- Equinox
JUICES -- Oldsmobile
THE D MAN -- Audi
H2O SKI -- Sable
WOMBAT -- Pilot
SAVE EM -- Mercedes
MID WIF 1 -- Lexus
I SEE YOU -- Volvo
GO ABE GO -- Lexus
YLLW SUB -- Toyota
TEE N WIZ -- GMC Jimmy
KNOBBY 1 -- GMC Jimmy
RAW CHEF -- Honda
DOG DAD 2 -- Quest
MONARK 1 -- Toyota
PUP MOM 1 -- Blazer
FAXING 1 -- Impala
TITANS 2 -- Pontiac
YOU D MAN -- Mercedes
ASHES -- Elantra
MOM CPA -- Jaguar
MY SAGE -- Volvo
SCLPTOR -- Pontiac
GUD FUN -- Pontiac
NICE MOM -- Lexus
FRE DOM -- Avalon
COVER UP -- Camaro
JET RINK -- Jeep
BTAFLY 1 -- Mustang
FACTOR 1 -- Maxim
FUN KAT 2 -- Volvo

Even Dreamier ... Even Newer

Even dreamier - even newer...
. . . Ford THUNDERBIRD for '56

The newest version of America's most thrilling dream-car-come-true is here...

. . . ready and waiting to take you places as you've never gone before, in new style that will draw admiring glances wherever you go.

One trial spin in the new Thunderbird is enough to quicken the pulse of even the most seasoned driver. You feel you could drive all day . . . just enjoying the enormous Thunderbird V-8 power as it responds to your slightest command! And you can have it with Fordomatic, Overdrive or Conventional Drive.

You can choose power assists to help you steer, stop, control the windows and seat. Cornering never was flatter. The ride was never better. And, depending on your whim,. you can have a convertible fabric top or a removable hardtop -- or both! You feel extra safe, too. For you know Ford's exclusive Lifeguard Design rides with you.

You feel just a little proud when you pull up at a light. You know that your car's long, low lines are the most distinctive on the road. Interiors sparkle with new color. And that new rear-mounted spare tire adds as much to the appearance of the car as it does to your luggage space.

These experiences are your everyday fare when you drive a Thunderbird. Why miss them another day!

Tech Tip - Winter Storage

Thunderbird Scoop -- Oct / Nov 1990 -- Storage Tips by Alan Tast, Scoop Editor

Over the years, members have contributed several tips for the storage of their Thunderbirds during the winter months. This timely text is provided to help you get prepared for the winter months ahead.

What should be done before putting the car away?

There are several things you should do before putting your 'Bird to bed for the winter. Many of these items fall under the heading of normal maintenance, but are even more important for a car that will sit idle for an extended period.

1. Change the oil and oil filter. All that driving you did during the summer and fall may not have put many miles on the odometer, but regardless If you drove 30 or 3000 miles, used oil will break down over time due to contaminants, such as gasoline that washes down cylinder sidewalls and into the oil pan. Some recommend doing this before removing the car from storage in the spring instead of when it goes in. Either way, it will need fresh oil before start-up in the spring.

2. Cooling system check-out. Check the radiator and surge tank (only on big 'BIrds) for leaks and repair as needed. Examine heater. and radiator hoses for sponginess, cracks, etc., and replace where needed. The coolant also must be brought up to snuff: Check how low it will go. (In northern climates, It would be a good idea to go with 50-70% antifreeze/water.) While the car may be sheltered from cold winter winds, garages are not exactly warm places (unless you're fortunate enough to have a heated one - even so, make sure your antifreeze is in good condition, because if the power fails and you loose the heating system in the garage, you've got insurance against such maladies like 'blown freeze plugs). While you're at it, if your antifreeze doesn't have a rust inhibitor, dump some in the radiator. Again extra Insurance.

3. Prepare the fuel system. Some recommend draining the fuel tank to prevent varnish and gum build-up, which results when the gas breaks down from prolonged storage, and filling with "white gas" which won't leave a varnish. For prolonged periods, it's also advised to drain fuel lines and pump after running the car on "white gas" to get it into the carburetor. Others however, simply fill the tank full and add a preservative, which can be found at parts stores and automotive departments such as at K-Mart. One product that comes to mind is called 'Sta-bil.' Another suggestion is to use powdered butyl-hydroxytoluene (BHT), to a tune of 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons.

4. Charge the battery and/or remove it from the car. Keep it off concrete floors - store on a shelf near 'the car so that you can put it back in when you start it later on. Some recommend using a trickle-charger, also available at your favorite parts place. The battery's life can be extended by using a chemical called tetrasodium EDTA to clean the battery's plates. Also known as 'Cyquest' and 'Sequestrene' it should be added to the battery during the charging process. The battery should be agitated frequently to distribute the EDTA on the plates for a few days, followed by a full charging.

5. Clean and wash thoroughly! Make sure to get all painted and plated surfaces. Unpainted items, such as suspension and steering parts, should be coated with Vaseline to prevent them from rusting if your garage floor allows moisture to form or if it's humid in the space. Before putting it away, give the car a good vacuuming, and wipe down the interior. For leather seats, make sure they have been treated with mink oil or a similar preservative to keep them from drying out. Stay away from products that contain silicone, such as 'Armor-AII' which will evaporate and leave a hard-to-clean film on windows and chrome. Silicone-based cleaners/preservative, if not continuously used will cause the vinyl to dry out, which is the exact opposite of what you're trying to prevent. Try products like 'AII-Clear' that don't have silicones and polymers.

6. Prepare the storage space. Concrete floors are notorious for allowing moisture to condense and, in effect, allow the underbody and chassis to 'rust out' from sitting. Place a plastic drop cloth where the car will sit to act as a vapor barrier. A few sheets of cardboard or drip pans are a good idea to catch oil and fluid from a leaking motor or transmission.

Once the car is in the garage ....

1. (For extended periods) Put the car on jack stands or blocks at lift points on the body. Avoid placing weight on the springs and suspension to reduce stress on these items. All weight should be off the tires, so that they can be rotated by hand every month or so. Doing this will prevent bearings from taking a 'set' and keep the tires from developing a 'flat spot.' Inflate the tires to 1/2 of their normal pressure for this type of storage, and don't forget to 'air up' prior to putting the car back on the ground. One train of thought is to simply "park" the car in the garage and move it occasionally, changing the car's position in the garage to prevent the tires and bearings from returning to the same place for months on end.

2. Disconnect the battery after finalizing the car's position.

3. Fill the master cylinder with brake fluid. If you're Inclined to, you could flush the brake fluid and replace with new if it becomes contaminated or has been in for a long time.

4. Place a few items in the interior and trunk to aid in pest control: moth balls are a perennial favorite. Some also use a rag soaked in lemon polish in place of moth balls to avoid the smell and replace it with a more-fragrant scent. Crack open the vent window to allow air to circulate. Place mouse poison outside the car: putting it inside only entices mice inside to get food. (And gives them a comfortable place to die.) If you don't have pets, put it next to the tires. Or, put it where pets won't go, such as on top of tires or the suspension.

5. Cover the car with a good cloth car cover. A water-repellant cover that doesn't breathe is not advisable: assuming it's in a garage, a light cotton one will keep dust off quite well.

During the interim ....

1: (Every two weeks to one month) Reconnect the battery. Start the car and run it for 20 minutes at fast idle.

2. (Every month) Work all operable items (locks, windows, heater, air conditioner, lights, radio, transmission, windshield wipers/washer, cigarette lighter, turn indicators, power seats, etc.).

3. Turn and rotate the front wheels so that the bearings and seals are also worked. Check for leaks.

4. Before bringing the car out for the next cruising season, don't forget to air up the tires, change the oil and filter if they weren't when put away, and then simply put the car back on the ground and drive away.

CTCC Dues Renewal


Great Race 2008 Email

To: BEBluebird

Hi Bert,

Just received the CTCC newsletter and wanted to bring you up to date on the Great Race. I officially withdrew from the race do to NO prize money. The Ewing's are making it an "adventure". I have been on enough adventures. The dates have also changed along with the original route. It is now going to be May 30th through August 2nd. The only thing similar to the original GR is that it will start in NY and end in Paris. That is about the extent of it. They have a new web site now that explains how it is going to work and the route but still lots of unanswered questions for me and others.

I have decided to retire from great racing. Time to go on to other things and adventures to fill up my summers. We won our rookie year, we won sportsman division in 2005 and the Grand Championship in 2007. Charlie and I both agree it's nice to go out on top.

Looks like you guys have been very active. Maybe one of these summers I'll be able to schedule another stop at one of your functions.

Best Regards,
Bob LaBine

From The Archives ... Grille Badges




-- Ed., Bird-News